Dr. Thomas J. McDonald, professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, is one of only 15 faculty across the Texas A&M University System to receive the 2018 Regents Professor Award. Established in 1996, this award from the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents recognizes faculty members who have provided stellar contributions to the university or agency and to the people of Texas. Each recipient has this title added to his/her current designation or rank.
“These outstanding individuals are doing incredible work on behalf of the A&M System and the entire state of Texas,” said A&M System Chancellor John Sharp. “They exemplify the values and commitment to excellence that defines the A&M System and I am grateful for their dedication.”
Dr. McDonald received his PhD from Texas A&M University. He went on to work as a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Geochemical and Environmental Research Group. After his postdoctoral appointment, he stayed on as a Research Scientist, continuing his work in environmental chemistry and organic geochemistry. He joined the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health in the School of Public Health in 2005. He has served as Department Head and as Interdisciplinary Faculty of Toxicology.
Dr. McDonald is currently leading the Research Translation Core of the Texas A&M Superfund Research Center composed of scientists from across campus conducting four environmental research projects funded by a $10 million grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).
Established in 1987, the NEIHS Superfund Research Program is a highly competitive grant-based program that funds a network of 16 university-based multidisciplinary research teams that study human health and environmental issues related to hazardous chemicals, with a goal of understanding the link between exposure and disease.
The selection process for the awards begins with a call for nominations from the chancellor. Final nominations are put forth to the chief executive officer of each respective entity. They are then subject to a System-level review consisting of academic vice chancellors and past recipients of the awards. Finally, nominations are forwarded to the chancellor and the board for final approval.
To date, 239 A&M system faculty members have been recognized with the Regents Professor Award.